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The emerging church and the one project part 7

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The Emerging Church and The One Project? is a series of PowerPoint presentations asking the question if there is in fact a connection between the two. The purpose of the presentations are not to lambast those who want to lift Jesus up, but rather to allow leaders of the One Project to tell us in their own words (and the words of those promoting the project) what their goals and aspirations really are, and how these goals have been enacted in their past experiences.
Presentation 1 of 10 is a summary of the Emerging Church as defined on Wikipedia. This is a summary of the 17 page article found there which is taken from many leading proponents of the Emerging Church here in America.
Presentations 2 through 4 deal with Leonard Sweet, a leader in the Emerging Church movement and a professor at George Fox University, and many of the nearly 50 books he has authored which express his various viewpoints.
Presentations 5 through 9 deal with the five main leaders of The One Project, four of which graduated with or started DMin degrees from George Fox University under the mentorship of Leonard Sweet. In each presentation an objective look is taken at material in print telling of each leaders work and ministry up to 2012. The question will naturally follow; is this the direction we should be leading our young people in the Adventist Church?
Presentation 10 deals with the One Project gathering in Seattle, February of 2012, looking at the claims of the Project “Jesus. All” and comparing this to what really took place at the gathering. Yes, there was some good points made, and we need to lift Jesus up, but…. We also take a look at a little of the evidence suggesting The One Project is a response to GYC.
For a fully interactive edition of all 10 presentations with video clips, contact: theemergingoneproject@gmail.com

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The emerging church and the one project part 7

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  4. 4.   ―Pastor Sam Leonor was raised in Central America where his parents were part of developing health care missions. Among others, he attended Southern College in TN, where he earned a secondary education degree. He worked as a youth pastor in Asheville, NC before attending Andrews University where he earned a Master of Divinity. …‖ Sam has a passion for making church life meaningful. He wants to see people attach themselves to communities of faith that are healthy, growing and full of love. He believes that, like the Apostle Paul, people can experience dramatic personal change when they come in contact with the Gospel. This happens when Jesus the Christ and His teachings are lived out through the body of Christ. He is devoted to the Adventist church and to exploring contemporary Biblical spirituality. He enjoys ministry that focuses on faith that engages culture deeply and emphasizes justice.‖ (http://www.lasierra.edu/index.php?id=555) 4
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  6. 6.   ―Sam Leonor loves his work as Pastor to the students and faculty of La Sierra University. He is passionate about spiritual awakening among young adults, especially college students. He loves to see them bloom into faith that is missional, growing and full of love. His ministry is marked by a call to radical faith in Jesus. He loves finding ways to engage culture deeply for the sake of Jesus.‖ ―His hobbies include making music, eating good food, and having good conversations with family and friends.‖ (http://the1project.org/board/sam.html) 6
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  8. 8.   ―Michael [Knecht], Tim [Gillespie], Roy [Ice] and Sam [Leonor] all went to grad school together at a small University in southwest Michigan [Andrews University]. They worked together on many different projects, but music was a priority to all of them. Michael, had been asked to organize the music for a community event targeted toward teenagers. Michael played guitar, Tim sang and Roy played the drums. The crowd went wild. The chemistry was incredible and the musical relationship continued. There were folk influences in the music, but the cohesiveness of the group soon yielded an eclectic yet distinct style.‖ ―The newly formed band added Sam as bass player and Jason, an undergrad at the University, as another guitarist. They quickly began booking gigs, however, had yet to decide on a name. The first name settled on was ‗the electric fishermen,‘ which lasted about as long as their first concert. They quickly changed their name to ‗Big Face Grace‘ and it worked. The adventure had begun. BFG has now toured Australia, Finland, much of North America and parts of Canada.― cont. 8
  9. 9.  ―They have thrilled audiences that ranged in attendance from 3 people to 11,000 and venues from barns to stadiums. BFG music has been featured on MTV's Road Rules and ABC's Making the Band. Their CDs sound great, but to really experience BFG you must see, hear and live their live show. Big Face Grace is currently spending the majority of their time writing and recording for their long-awaited new album. They are also involved in several preliminary film negotiations. During this time, they will be playing a few select national dates and various Southern California shows ONLY. When the album is completed and released, BFG plans to book a national promotional tour.‖ (http://www.esongs.net/biography.asp?ID=441) 9
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  11. 11.   ―With performance opportunities trickling in, the group needed to determine their precise purpose. ‗We knew it had to be more than just entertainment,‘ Ice says. Recent studies had revealed teenagers' difficulty understanding God's grace, and they felt convicted to bridge the gap. Helping young people understand the nature of grace became the message of their music. With that also came a new band name: Big Face Grace. …‖ ―Following [AU] graduation, their prominence grew and so did controversy. Acceptance from the Adventist church was not immediate, and many in the Midwest were unreceptive to the concept of being both contemporary and Christian. Big Face Grace was aware, and, rather than avoid the tension, made it their secondary goal to provoke discussion of whether God allowed for such a blend. Ice remembers staying focused on their purpose. ‗I thought, ―My job is not to create controversy, it's to create Christians.‖‘‖ (cont.) 11
  12. 12.    ―After signing a record deal with True Tunes Rhythm House, the time commitment and travel increased. They went all over the United States and Canada, including several appearances at Spirit West Coast, and did two separate three-week tours in Australia. Following a twoweek tour in Finland, one entertainment reviewer wrote that after watching Bon Jovi perform two days earlier, Big Face Grace was a better show.‖ ―Several of their songs reached the top ten of the Christian music charts, including one number one hit. One of their songs reached the charts after their producer made it into, of all things, a dance remix. BFG was unaware of the song's success until they saw it in a Christian music magazine.‖ ―[Roy] Ice's time as the talented drummer of Big Face Grace will always bring a smile to his face, and a moment of pride. ‗My proudest moments aren't the hits or a song solo or a place we performed,‘ Ice remarks, ‗I'm most proud of the fact that we generated discussion. I feel like we made a difference.‘― (http://www.puc.edu/faculty-staff/progress/archives-old/june-2010) 12
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  17. 17.   ―The Student Association of La Sierra University (SALSU) hosted a benefit music festival on campus in early March that raised more than $2,800 for a struggling Adventist school in Malawi, Africa. … The La Sierra music festival featured five stages with multiple performers at each stage. Each of the more than 250 attendees of the concert donated $5 in order to get into each stage or $10 to attend for all festival access. Volunteer students roamed the event carrying buckets in which people could make additional donations. These buckets raised $966.71.‖ ―The festival featured a reunion performance by Big Face Grace, a Christian music group formed at Andrews University in the 1990s. Sam Leonor, La Sierra University campus pastor and a member of Big Face Grace at Andrews, was joined by the rest BFG‘s members for the La Sierra event. Four of the group are now active pastors involved in college/youth/young adult ministries. … Other performers included Nick Zork, Gian Caballero, Cartero, Iguana Stu, Miracle Dolls, The Transfats, Off Track, Sal and Isela, Vedda, Who is Chuy Vega, Winston and the Telescreen, Aaron Roche, Aaron Beaumont, Deirdre Raymond and Soul of the River. All of the students and performers volunteered their time and energy.‖ (http://www.lasierra.edu/index.php?id=1604) 17
  18. 18. ―The things you have described as taking place in Indiana, the Lord has shown me would take place just before the close of probation. Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated. There will be shouting, with drums, music, and dancing. The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions. And this is called the moving of the Holy Spirit.‖ ―The Holy Spirit never reveals itself in such methods, in such a bedlam of noise. This is an invention of Satan to cover up his ingenious methods for making of none effect the pure, sincere, elevating, ennobling, sanctifying truth for this time. Better never have the worship of God blended with music than to use musical instruments to do the work which last January was represented to me would be brought into our camp meetings. The truth for this time needs nothing of this kind in its work of converting souls. A bedlam of noise shocks the senses and perverts that which if conducted aright might be a blessing. The powers of satanic agencies blend with the din and noise, to have a carnival, and this is termed the Holy Spirit's working.‖ (cont.) 18
  19. 19. ―Those participating in the supposed revival receive impressions which lead them adrift. They cannot tell what they formerly knew regarding Bible principles. No encouragement should be given to this kind of worship. The same kind of influence came in after the passing of the time in 1844. The same kind of representations were made. Men became excited, and were worked by a power thought to be the power of God.... ‖ ―I will not go into all the painful history; it is too much. But last January [1900] the Lord showed me that erroneous theories and methods would be brought into our camp meetings, and that the history of the past would be repeated. I felt greatly distressed. I was instructed to say that at these demonstrations demons in the form of men are present, working with all the ingenuity that Satan can employ to make the truth disgusting to sensible people; that the enemy was trying to arrange matters so that the camp meetings, which have been the means of bringing the truth of the third angel's message before multitudes, should lose their force and influence. …‖(cont.) 19
  20. 20. ―The Holy Spirit has nothing to do with such a confusion of noise and multitude of sounds as passed before me last January. Satan works amid the din and confusion of such music, which, properly conducted, would be a praise and glory to God. He makes its effect like the poison sting of the serpent.‖ ―Those things which have been in the past will be in the future. Satan will make music a snare by the way in which it is conducted. God calls upon His people, who have the light before them in the Word and in the Testimonies, to read and consider, and to take heed. Clear and definite instruction has been given in order that all may understand. But the itching desire to originate something new results in strange doctrines, and largely destroys the influence of those who would be a power for good if they held firm the beginning of their confidence in the truth the Lord had given them.” (Ellen G. White to S. N. Haskell, Letter 132, 1900; in Selected Messages, book 2, pp. 36-39) 20
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  22. 22.    ―Our evening speaker this year for young adults, Sam Leonor, serves as chaplain at La Sierra University and pastors the first service of the University Church. His ministry focuses on faith that deeply engages culture, is driven by a desire to love as Jesus did and emphasizes justice. …‖ ―Alex Bryan, a graduate of Southern College and Andrews University, is pastor of the New Community Church in Roswell, Georgia. Alex is a regular contributor to the Adventist Review, and has co-authored a book entitled, The Ride of Your Life.‖ Titles: ―Why it‘s ok to watch movies: Learning the lost art of Discernment ― ―Learning from Legalists: Why the law will always matter‖ ―Learning from Liberals: Why the edges must be explored‖ ―Jesus was a Moderate: Reclaiming the progressive middle‖ ―Starting Riots for Jesus: What the committed life really looks like‖ (http://www.carolinasda.org/site_data/ 663/assets/0007/4106/CMProgram06.pdf) 22
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  24. 24.   ―Sam was raised in Central America where his parents were part of developing church and health care missions. He has degrees from Southern Adventist University, Andrews University, and is a doctoral candidate at George Fox University.‖ (http://the1project.org/board/sam.html) ―He graduated from Southwestern Adventist University and the Seventh-day Adventist Seminary at Andrews University. He is currently a doctoral candidate at George Fox University, an interdenominational Evangelical institution.‖ (http://www.atoday.org/article /1302/news/july-headlines/god-encounters-2012-conference-for-young-adults-will-feature-sam-leonor) 24
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  26. 26.  ―Second, I would like to thank all my brothers and sisters in my George Fox University‗s Leadership in the Emerging Culture, Future Studies doctoral cohort. Our conversations, debates and differences helped form my ideas and guided me along the process. In particular I would like to thank Mark McNees, Timothy Gillespie, Sam Leonor and Kevin Bates for helping me process my thoughts and being a sounding board for what must have been seen as crazy thoughts. You are all friends for life. … Fourth, big props go out to Leonard Sweet and Loren Kerns for helping me redesign my thoughts and to process what I know with what they know.‖ (http://johncokeefe.com/John%20C%20OKeefe%20%20Creatives.pdf) 26
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  28. 28.    ―Anticipate change. Proactive leadership in Google Culture with Len Sweet.‖ ―The Leadership in Emerging Culture Doctor of Ministry (DMin) tracks explore the character and shape of effective Christian leadership in the emerging culture. The … program with Dr. Leonard (Len) Sweet prepares an advance guard of Jesus semioticians, leaders adept at seeing signs of Jesus' work in the world. These followers of Jesus are not afraid of the future but are excited about its possibilities and promises, while aware of its perils and pitfalls.‖ ―The approach is an ancient-future one of MRI (Missional, Relational, Incarnational) discipleship, using an EPIC (Experiential, Participatory, Image-Rich, Connective) interface. Students explore how to transition the church from its current default of APC (Attractional, Propositional, Colonial) to MRI, and play with a variety of EPIC interfaces.‖ (cont.) 28
  29. 29.   Advances ―Students participate in three face-to-face 'advance' experiences in Portland, OR, Oxford, UK, and Orcas Island, WA. They meet for a research course, visit in-person with their advisor, and join Leonard Sweet for a number of learning sessions. Learn more....‖ Online and Hybrid ―The delivery system for the track utilizes a hybrid delivery model. Students participate in several conferences, receive personal mentoring from Dr. Sweet and select faculty advisors, engage in ongoing online interactivity with cohort members and professors, and engage in reading, reflection, research, and writing. Students meet weekly with Len Sweet for synchronous chats in SpotOn3D at an island online learning community called 'Mag Mell'.‖ (http://www.georgefox.edu/seminary/programs/dmin-sfs/index.html) 29
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  32. 32.    ―In the course of this book‘s retrieval of memory, many people have helped me find ‗the overgrown path, the secret staircase, the ancient sewer.‘ Mike Oliver and Chris Eriksen, my graduate assistants at Drew, have thrashed through many thorny thickets in pursuit of ‗secret staircases.‘ …‖ ―Thanks to two of my doctoral cohorts at George Fox University, I was able to determine what wood-felling would give better sight of the trees, and what paths through the woods we need not cut for ourselves. … My colleague and friend Loren Kerns kept my focus on beauty, the ‗forgotten transcendental,‘ and helped me to see beauty‘s relation to the truth of goodness and the goodness of truth.‘ …‖ ―Thanks also to my students: … (LEC 7) Kevin Bates, Karen Claassen, Libby Boatwright, Carla Dyment, Matt Dyment, Tim Gillespie, Sam Leonor, …‖ (http://www.scribd.com/doc/13828591/9/ My-characters-all-sound-the-same-because-I-never-listen-%E2%80%9D2) 32
  33. 33. ―The Christian church is falling apart and in desperate need of a revival. According to Professor Sweet and bestselling author Viola, what is lacking is a groundbreaking revelation of Christ that boggles the mind and enraptures the heart. … The authors urge churches to focus on the man who embodies the entire religion. To do so, readers must learn the subtle distinction between following Christ and realizing Christ already lives within them. Some may find this message controversial, even pantheistic.‖ (http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Manifesto-RestoringSupremacy-Sovereignty/dp/1596443855/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322412894&sr=1-1) 33
  34. 34.   ―There are good reasons to be concerned about contemporary Christianity. But must the answer always be ‗a fresh alternative -- a third way‘ (pg. xiii)? In the case of Jesus Manifesto, authors Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola construct a ‗third way‘ that bears little resemblance to the ‗narrow road‘ (Matt. 7:13-14) which Jesus Himself preached.‖ ―[T]he authors begin with a series of sweeping, but predictable, generalizations about the grim state of affairs: ‗The world likes Jesus; they just don't like the church. But increasingly, the church likes the church, yet it doesn't like Jesus‘ (pg. xvi), … This kind of ‗bash the church‘ rhetoric is at the heart of the postmodern, post-evangelical movement, and propels much of what Sweet and Viola unpack. Apparently, for many "emergent" Christians, problems with the church are a license to reconfigure the gospel. And, ultimately, Jesus Manifesto seems determined to do just that.‖ (cont.) 34
  35. 35.   ―Along the way, the authors teeter between sublimity and absurdity. On the one hand, Sweet and Viola do a terrific job pulling everything back to Christ, showing how Scripture and biblical history center around the Son of God and all our causes and convictions should be subordinate to Him. Their language is exultant, their praise effusive. But the closer we examine the Christ they acclaim, the less He seems like the biblical one.‖ ―The ‗hard sayings‘ of Christ about hell, damnation, and judgment are nowhere to be found in this book (unless intimated toward religious elites). As such, the Jesus of Jesus Manifesto is the friend of sinners NOT the ‗judge of the living and the dead‘ (Acts 10:42). The Jesus of Jesus Manifesto comes to bring unity NOT ‗division‘ (Lk. 12:49-57). The Jesus of Jesus Manifesto carries an olive branch NOT a ‗sword‘ (Matt. 10:34). The Jesus of Jesus Manifesto ushers souls to heaven NOT ‗eternal punishment‘ (Matthew 25:32,46).‖ (cont.) 35
  36. 36.   ―It is this ecumenical evasiveness that spoils Jesus Manifesto. The Bible teaches that the Good Shepherd will one day return with ‗the armies of heaven... to strike the nations‘ (Rev. 19: 11-16), that the cross of Christ ‗offends‘ people (Gal. 5:11) and its message is ‗foolishness to those who are perishing‘ (I Cor. 1:18). Sadly, it is this ‗offense‘ that Sweet and Viola jettison in favor of uncritical inclusion.‖ ―One of the ways Jesus Manifesto attempts this is by downplaying ‗doctrine.‘ The authors write, ‗The apostles' message throughout Acts is not the plan of salvation. It's not a theology or a set of doctrines either. It is a person – Christ‘ (pg. 12), and ‗According to Scripture, Jesus Christ (and not a doctrine about Him) is the truth‘ (pg. 80).‖ (cont.) 36
  37. 37.   ―Can theology get in the way of relationship with Christ? Absolutely! Is Jesus more than a doctrinal system? Of course! But the assumption that a doctrine or ‗theological system‘ ALWAYS impedes a relationship with Christ is untenable. On the contrary, good theology fires a right relationship with Jesus. In fact, how does one even ‗grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ‘ (II Pet. 3:18) without embracing a series of biblical prepositions about Him?‖ ―Scripture is filled with exhortations about believing correctly. In fact, it was those same apostles (the ones who [supposedly] did not preach ‗a theology or a set of doctrines‘) who cautioned against ‗false Christ‘s (II Cor. 11:3,4; 13-15) and admonished about a time when men ‗will not endure sound doctrine‘ (II Tim. 4:3). The apostle Peter warned about ‗false teachers‘ who ‗secretly introduce destructive heresies‘ (II Pet. 2:1).‖(http://www.amazon.com/ Jesus-Manifesto-Restoring-Supremacy-Sovereignty/ product-reviews/0849946018/ ref=cm_cr_dp_qt_hist_two?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addTwo Star&showViewpoints=0) 37
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  40. 40.   ―Adventists Against Prop 8″ is an initiative by a small group of Adventist pastors, teachers and students in California who decided, out of their commitment to the historic Adventist principle of the separation of church and state, to voice their concerns about (1) the Seventh-day Adventist Church State Council‘s public support of California Proposition 8 and (2) the imposition of a fundamentally religious definition of marriage that this Proposition represents.‖ ―We are:       Daneen Akers: Reviews Editor, Spectrum Blog; Master of Arts in English student, San Francisco State University; Freelance Writer Ryan Bell: Pastor, Hollywood Seventh-day Adventist Church Alexander Carpenter: Instructor of Visual Arts, Pacific Union College; Editor, Spectrum Blog Stephen Eyer: Adjunct Professor of Film & Visual Art, Pacific Union College; Filmmaker Julius Nam: Associate Professor of Religion, Loma Linda University School of Religion Jared Wright: Master of Divinity student, La Sierra University School of Religion.‖ (cont.) 40
  41. 41.  ―Lawrence T. Geraty, President Emeritus, La Sierra University Tim Mitchell, Senior Pastor, Pacific Union College Church Chris Blake, Associate Professor of English and Communication, Union College Deborah Silva, Professor of Speech Communication, Walla Walla University Fritz Guy, Research Professor of Theology, La Sierra University Michelle Rai, Chair, Communication Dept., Pacific Union College Alger Keough, Executive Pastor, Azure Hills SDA Church, Grand Terrace, CA Gary Chartier, Associate Professor of Law and Business Ethics, La Sierra University David Larson, Professor of Religion, Loma Linda University Jeff Gang, Pastor, Crosswalk Seventh-day Adventist Church, Redlands, CA Charles Scriven, President, Kettering College of Medical Arts Maury Jackson, Associate Pastor, Lancaster (CA) Seventh-day Adventist Church Aubyn Fulton, Professor of Psychology, Pacific Union College Michael McMillan, Pastor, Victoria SDA Church, San Bernardino, CA Sam Leonor, Chaplain, La Sierra University Milbert Mariano, Chair of Visual Arts Dept., Pacific Union College Richard Lee, Associate Pastor, San Diego Korean Seventh-day Adventist Church David Oceguera, Pastor, Brawley & El Centro (CA) Seventh-day Adventist Church John R. Jones, Professor of New Testament and World Religions, La Sierra Univ. Steve Leddy, Lead Pastor, 24-Seven Ministry Center, Seattle, WA‖ (http://adventistsagainstprop8.wordpress.com/about/) 41
  42. 42.  ―United States District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker overturned Proposition 8 on August 4, 2010 in the case Perry v. Schwarzenegger, ruling that it violated both the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the United States Constitution. Walker issued an injunction against enforcing Proposition 8 and a stay to determine suspension of his ruling pending appeal. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals continued the stay, keeping Walker's ruling on hold pending appeal. On February 7, 2012, in a 2–1 decision, a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel affirmed Walker's decision declaring the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional.‖ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_8)  “9th Circuit: Prop 8 is Unconstitutional: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals‘ invalidation of 2008′s Proposition 8 is a just, moral, and righteous decision. This is a decision that all Seventh-day Adventists who are committed to religious liberty and the gospel of Jesus Christ can celebrate. It points out unjust and immoral discrimination by its right name. It sets the nation further in the trajectory of recognizing full equality of gays and lesbians in all areas of life. This decision affirms the truth that the moral arc of the universe indeed bends toward justice.‖ (http://adventistsagainstprop8.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/9th-circuit-prop-8-isunconstitutional/) 42
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  44. 44.   ―When I came to La Sierra, it was about a month before the elections. In discussing politics, … they were talking about one thing: Proposition 8. It quickly became evident that LSU has several voices willing to engage the theological question, and also willing to push for ethical action on behalf of others. While Gregory King, the dean of the School of Religion at Southern, endorsed ―Adventists for Proposition 8,‖ several faculty members (including Fritz Guy, John R. Jones and Sam Leonor) at La Sierra endorsed ―Adventist Against Prop 8.‖ And while none of these names officially represent their institutions of employment, the fact remains that this demonstrates that the religious and academic leaders at LSU have a different vision for how the Seventh-day Adventist church should relate to LGBTs in their community than those leaders at SAU.‖ ―But it isn‘t just politics. David Ferguson, Fritz Guy and David Larson edited the book Christianity and Homosexuality: Some Seventh-day Adventist Perspectives, in which both John Jones and Fritz Guy argued that the church should not look on all forms of homosexuality as sinful, but should affirm and embrace same-sex couples. … La Sierra University has an atmosphere that allows students to explore questions because the faculty are themselves engaged in dialogue.‖ (Matt Burdette, ―Student Series: Homosexuality and the Adventist Campus - La Sierra,” http://spectrummagazine.org/ blog/2009/03/15/student-series-homosexuality-andadventist-campus-la-sierra) 44
  45. 45.  ―In July 2010, five simple Jesus followers (Alex Bryan, Japhet De Oliveira, Sam Leonor, Tim Gillespie and Terry Swenson) got together … in Denver. … After two days of prayer, fasting, communion and reflection we looked across the room at each other and acknowledged again that Jesus was number one. …‖ (Japhet De Oliveira, ―The One Project: Our Purpose and Mission,‖ http://the1project.org/ assets/documents/the-one-project.pdf)   ―Look, it happened one day in Denver, that we got together, broke and hurting people—people that a lot of people looked at and said; Oh their great, their fine, life is good. But we are hurting and burnt out, and dreaming dreams that we don‘t want to think about anymore, because you just want to put them in a box and hide them cause it hurts to treasure them anymore. And we came together as friends and we really just wanted to escape for a while. …‖ ―And I was so broken and hungry, that I said guys, we‘ve got to open up. … And then it happened. And we said, It happened. And we walked away and said can it get bigger? Can the circle expand? Could it be that we could tear down the walls? I don‘t want to fight the battle anymore! I‘m through! I am tired of seeing members and beautiful people, leaders like you, who crash and burn and die. I‘m tired of seeing honey but it turns to ashes in my mouth. It‘s about Jesus. If people want to march over here, ‗well, we‘re the church,‘ okay fine, but I‘m going to follow Jesus.‖ (Terry Swenson, ―Jesus in our Experience,‖ talk given Feb. 8, 2011, Atlanta One Project; http://the1project.org/media/listen.html) 45
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  48. 48.    ―GODencounters, a series of weekend young adult ‗tune-ups‘ marks a decade of ministry since the initiative began when two Seventh-day Adventist pastors wanted to spruce up a ministry to young adults at a camp meeting. Pastor A. Allan Martin, along with Jeff Gang, founded GODencounters a decade ago in an effort to enhance ministry to young adults who attend Seventh-day Adventist churches.‖ ―In 2001, pastors A. Allan Martin and Jeff Gang found themselves in charge of the young adult break-out groups at Florida Camp Meeting and wondered what they could do to reach beyond the paltry attendance. Most of the attendees were in their 40s and simply wanted airconditioning while waiting for their kids to be let out of Sabbath School. Martin and Gang met with local young adults to pray and seek out what could be done with the opportunity to better reach younger generations.‖ ―That spawned the next year what has now become GODencounters, a weekend series of spiritual gatherings designed for young adults, challenging them to have a 24/7 encounter with Jesus. The series addresses young adult themes such as relationships, worship and service, drawing life lessons from successful biblical characters who encountered challenges similar to those often faced by those out of high school through pre-parenthood.‖ (http://news.adventist.org/en/archive/articles/2012/03/09/godencountersmarks-decade-of-young-adult-ministry) 48
  49. 49.    ―We knew we didn‘t want to perpetuate a faltering program. We wanted to deepen the devotion of new generations to Jesus through worship, so in preparation we spent almost a year gathering with a group of young adults and pastors, praying and dreaming what it might look like. …‖ ―That‘s how GODencounters was born; now it is an international movement with thousands of young adults involved in spiritual gatherings, private faith practices, and affirming communities in real time and online.‖ ―The name itself really presents the core of what we‘ve been trying to do over this past decade: helping young adults encounter God. … So GODencounters is not simply a program, or events you attend, or a religious fad you buy into; it‘s about heart-hunger—new generations seeking out God to discover who he really is.‖ (http://ignitionblog.wordpress.com /2012/09/05/godencounters-still-strong-after-a-decade/) 49
  50. 50.  ―When we first started GODencounters, a couple of young adults who owned an interior design business wanted to contribute their skills to the events. So they asked permission to transform a couple of classrooms into prayer rooms, where young adults could express their prayers in creative and multisensory ways. It‘s been amazing to witness the enthusiasm of young adults with design skills to be involved, and over the years many attendees have expressed that some of their most memorable encounters with God have come in these sacred spaces.‖ (http://ignitionblog. wordpress.com /2012/09/05/godencounters-still-strong-after-a-decade/) 50
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  52. 52.  ―Encounters Café was invented because our first GODencounters planning group recognized that the ‗real‘ meeting for young adults often occurs after the program, in the parking lot or at some local restaurant; so we decided to create a place—a café-styled space—for fellowship and conversations to occur informally. Encounters Café creates a casual, comfortable place where young adults are invited to chat, enjoy refreshments, and relax. Inevitably many of the conversations have turned from small talk to discussions about life and God.‖ (http://ignitionblog.wordpress.com/ 2012/09/05/godencounters-still-strong-after-a-decade/)  ―Encounters cafe offers young adults a casual, relaxed spot to enjoy refreshment, worship, and informal conversations with GOD and each other. As part of GODencounters gatherings happening across the nation, look for an encounters cafe to open up near you. … Music, poetry, art, and comedy are familiar staples to the encounters cafe, offering an array of creative expressions of worship.‖ (http://ignitionblog.wordpress.com/2008/03/29/ encounters-cafe/) 52
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  57. 57.   ―The 2012 gathering is schedule for August 30 through September 1 in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. Organizers announced yesterday that Pastor Sam Leonor, chaplain at La Sierra University, the Seventh-day Adventist institution in Riverside, California, will be the primary speaker this year.‖ ―Leonor ‗is passionate about spiritual awakening among young adults, especially college students,‘ a news release states. ‗He loves to see them bloom into faith that is missional, growing and full of love. He devotes much of his ministry to exploring contemporary Biblical spirituality in the context of community.‘ He ‗loves his work‘ and calls young adults to ‗radical faith that engages culture deeply and emphasizes justice.‘‖ (http://www.atoday.org/article/1302/news/julyheadlines/god-encounters-2012-conference-for-young-adults-will-feature-sam-leonor) 57
  58. 58. 58
  59. 59. 59
  60. 60. 60
  61. 61.    “Created by NAD Adventist. Enjoy this musical montage of the 2012 GODencounters Conference: Be Present. Often distracted by our regrets of the past and worries of the future, we too often fail to be where we are right now. ‗Be Present‘ is a call to enjoy GOD today. Dwell in His presence in the moment. See what He is doing right now, leaving the future and the past in His hands. GODencounters is a movement of next generations pursuing a 24/7 experience of…‖ ―We are a holy movement among new generations who are wholeheartedly seeking a 24/7 experience of GOD, recklessly living for His renown. Daring to deepen intimacy with GOD, GODencounters gives focus to seven discipleship themes where practices of the Christian faith are emphasized. Our desire is to: live lives of Worship; be agents of present Gospel; Gracefully express compassion; Pray without ceasing; embrace Sabbath as soul CPR; Morph into His likeness; celebrate in Jubilee.‖ ―Through holy gatherings and personal devotion, GODencounters is living out this seven-precept discipleship curriculum. In cyberspace and real time, young adults are returning to the heart of GOD, growing a movement of GODfollowers; pursuing GODencountered lives, 24/7.‖ (http://vimeo.com/channels/godencounters/page:1) 61
  62. 62. 62
  63. 63.   ―The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath, of course would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure. ― (Battle Creek Letters, pp. 79-81) 63
  64. 64. ―The things you have described as taking place in Indiana, the Lord has shown me would take place just before the close of probation. Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated. There will be shouting, with drums, music, and dancing. The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions. And this is called the moving of the Holy Spirit.‖ (Ellen G. White to S. N. Haskell, Letter 132, 1900; in Selected Messages, book 2, pp. 36-39) 64

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